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The Ukrainian army moved to defense, the militia are significant losses
Material posted: Publication date: 30-01-2015

Military experts said the change of tactics of warfare and the increased coherence of the armed forces of Ukraine. If in the summer of 2014 the Ukrainian army was not prepared for war and suffered defeats, but now it has strengthened their defensive positions.

The second phase of hostilities in the South-East of Ukraine (from January 2015) characterized by coherent interaction of the militia of Donetsk and Lugansk, as well as better handling of the Ukrainian army, according to respondents RIA Novosti military experts.

In addition, according to experts, the warring parties have moved from tactics ill-considered offensives to a tactical defense.

The second stage of the confrontation between the Ukrainian army and the DPR and LPR began in January 2015. During this time units of the militia managed to oust the Ukrainian military from Donetsk airport. In the area of the settlement Debaltsevo large group of Ukrainian troops located in the "semi-copper". The parties noted the increased intensity of fire and, consequently, more heavy losses on both sides.

Fighting the militia in comparison with the first stage of the conflict in southeastern Ukraine (prior to the conclusion of the Minsk agreements in September 2014) have become more coordinated. If in summer 2014 every town in DPR and LPR were defended by some grouping, now the militia act in concert with their Central command, there was a trend towards joint operations of the troops of the two republics, experts say.

"Today more actively moving in Donetsk region, and LNR is in the second echelon. Should be a single coordination, which involves the creation of a unified army. An organizational system is the militia appeared," the former chief of the General staff of the Russian armed forces, army General Yuri Baluyevsky.

In turn, the General Director of the Center for strategic estimates and projections Sergey Grinyaev believes that the militias have practically turned into a real regular army.

"For the time elapsed from the first phase of the war in the Ukraine, the insurgents of the DPR and LPR almost turned into a real full-fledged army, armed with which the armored vehicles and heavy weapons. They have become more coordinated: there are enough professional intelligence, which operates in the front strip, including in enemy territory. Also came troops of special purpose", — he said.

The same opinion is shared by the President of the Academy of geopolitical problems, Konstantin Sivkov, saying that the militia forces have become more structured and has increased the level of their logistics.

Military experts also noted the change in tactic of warfare and the increased coherence of the armed forces of Ukraine. If in the summer of 2014 the Ukrainian army was not prepared for war and suffered defeats, but now it has strengthened its defensive positions and have relied on the shelling settlements DND and LNR, to destroy the infrastructure of the militia and demoralize the civilian population.

"Today the Ukrainian army is not what the first stage: they remembered something they were taught at military academies. They understood that armed people don't just scare and began to fight not that professional, but much better than at the time of his defeat in August. Today used quite effectively in the fire control system — the loss of the militia are quite serious," — said Baluyevsky.

The former head of the international Treaty Directorate of the defense Ministry Lieutenant-General Yevgeny Buzhinsky also said "no regret" the chosen tactics of Kiev's blockade of Novorossiya and incapacitate her life support systems.

"I don't believe in miracles: while heavy weapons Ukrainian security forces will not be allotted 15-20 kilometers from Donetsk, the city will continue to destroy. Even if the mobilization of the Ukrainian armed forces will be broken, it will not help to relieve from the Donbas transport blockade, will not help to restore the destroyed system of life support in the new Russia. All this is compounded by the upcoming cold spell in February, the civilian population of DND and LNR in such conditions simply will not survive and it will begin to call on the militia to lay down their weapons," he said.

Sivkov, however, felt the tactics of massive shelling of civilian targets is meaningless and detrimental to the Ukrainian army. "Ukrainian troops can't do anything, except for the shelling of houses and civilian casualties. Shooting at residential areas from a tactical point of view — it is absolutely meaningless. First of all, it's aimless consumption of very expensive ammunition, and secondly, that the animosity of the local population, in whose eyes the militia will be heroes, and Ukrainian soldiers are thugs and murderers. In addition, the loss of the militia in the shelling almost zero," he said.

Speaking about the number of connections, fighting on the side of Ukraine and Novorossiya, the experts differed in the estimates. Baluyevsky suggested that on the part of Kiev in the South-East have engaged in combat, about 200 thousand people, militia groups — a maximum of 50 thousand.

Smaller numbers called Sivkov and Grinyaev — in their view, the grouping of the armed forces of Ukraine is about 30 thousand people, and the forces of DND and LNR — about 10 thousand rebels.

According to estimates by member of public Council at the defense Ministry Igor Korotchenko, on the side of Kiev are fighting about 50 thousand people, while in fact the fighting involved only Ukrainian regular army. "I believe that the Ukrainian group, which includes the national guard and volunteer formations, is about 50 thousand people", — said the expert.

The reasons for the escalation of the conflict

Among the causes of the resumption of hostilities in January, the experts highlighted the failure by the Kyiv Minsk agreements, as well as the desire of the West to get a new formality to continue the pressure on Russia.

"I was convinced that the so-called truce to the Ukrainian authorities had a specific goal: to lick their wounds, prepare for new activities that they do. However, I expected them to intensify in February and early March. Maybe their leaders from the West are tired of the truce and they needed new blood, on the eve of such events as the visit of Naryshkin to the PACE — there were new evidence that Russia continues to participate in the fratricidal war," — said Baluyevsky.

Shares this view and Korotchenko, emphasizing the special role in the escalation of the conflict Secretary of the NSDC of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov.

"Conflict in the South-East was resumed by Ukraine in order to give America and the West as a pretext for the introduction of new sanctions against Russia, arguing that "aggression" on the part of DNR and LNR and their allegedly supporting Russia. A particularly negative role in shaping the course of Kiev plays the Secretary of the NSDC — Alexander Turchynov, in fact, assumed some of the functions of the Supreme commander of the Ukrainian army", — he said.

The outcome of the war

Looking at options when the civil war in Ukraine, experts are more pessimistic than six months ago, believing that possibility of a diplomatic scenario is minimized. Baluyevsky convinced of the need for the international community the operation to separation of the parties to the conflict.

"I am convinced that soon the world community will have to make a decision to conduct peacekeeping operations or operations for the separation of the parties — it can be named anything, but most of this fratricidal war can not continue. Otherwise, the war will continue until such time as in the South-East will be alive the last Russian, Russian-speaking people or someone who doesn't agree with the policy of the center," he said.

In turn Buzhinsky believes that the chance for a political settlement remains.

"Now the main task of Russia to force Poroshenko to sit down at the negotiating table with the DPR and LPR. I still believe in diplomatic resolution of the conflict," he says.

Other experts predict for the foreseeable future the victory of the militia and the displacement of Ukrainian troops outside of Donetsk and Lugansk regions as a result of destabilization of the political situation in Kiev and economic crisis in Ukraine in the spring of 2015.

"The protests will only increase in the Central part of Ukraine, will be able to reverse the situation — the protests of the "Right sector" against a relatively moderate course Poroshenko on one side and protests from residents of the Western regions of the country will lead to a breakdown of the declared mobilization. As a result, I think, somewhere in March-April this will lead to the defeat of Ukrainian troops", — said griniaev.

The Ukrainian authorities in April last year started in the Donbas power operation against dissatisfied with the February coup residents of the region. According to the OSCE, during the conflict killed more than 5 thousand people, about a million became refugees.


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